Entering into a new relationship means starting at the beginning and sharing your story with each other. The older you get and the more experiences you have collected, the more potential for aspects of your past that seems unworthy of sharing. Maybe some of your experiences make you feel guilty, ashamed or even disgusted with yourself. So, should you tell your new partner the whole truth or not?
Is it relevant right now?
Recently, a client of mine tormented herself about a past secret affair and whether or not she should tell her new partner, given the new man knew the man from the affair. What I asked her first is: “Is this part of your past relevant to you now and how?”
In regards to an affair, ask yourself whether you still have feelings for the other person, which might impede in your new forming relationship.
Ask yourself: Does my past affair emotionally stand in the way of forming this new relationship?
Level or trust and vulnerability
A new relationship is at the building stage of trust. You need to give your partner and yourself the time and space to let this trust naturally build. In the beginning, you share only certain aspects of yourself and this is normal. Once you feel more secure you are naturally willing to be more vulnerable to share the less favourable aspect of your personality.
Ask yourself: What would I want to know from or about my partner? When am I ready to share with him the deeper aspects of myself?
The learning within a relationship always includes knowing yourself and defining who you are within that relationship. This means experiencing your boundaries, sharing them and standing up if they are being trespassed. At the beginning of a relationship, it is natural to accept more and be more forgiving.
Ask yourself: What and where are my boundaries? What would I want from a relationship and what is out-of-bounds?
Walk in their shoes
Changing the perspective is always a good way to gauge what you need to speak and what isn’t necessary.
Ask yourself: If he experienced what I had, would I want/need to know? When would I want to know and in how much detail?
Telling the truth and being honest has become a high standard and yet in our human experience, it needs to thought through a bit deeper. The truth has a time and place and that’s not always here and now.
In regards to telling the truth I like to ask myself these three questions first:
1. Is it absolutely true or have I just heard/read it?
2. Is ‘this truth’ kind?
3. Is it of benefit to the person to hear ‘this truth’ now?
If at least one of the questions receive a ‘no’ then I know it’s not the time and place to share.